Vandals set to play Troy on Thursday - SWX Right Now-Sports for Spokane, CdA, Tri-Cities, WA

Vandals set to play Troy on Thursday

Vandals are currently 3-5 on the season. Vandals are currently 3-5 on the season.

By Idaho Athletics

THE GAME: Idaho hits the road on a short week to take on Troy. The Vandals (3-5, 2-2 Sun Belt) and Trojans (6-2, 3-1 Sun Belt) square off Thursday at 8:15 p.m. CT/6:15 p.m. PT in a nationally-televised game on ESPNU.
 
WATCH LIVE: The game will be televised on ESPNU. Mark Neeleywill handle play-by-play with Jay Walker providing analysis.
Channel Finder
DirecTV – 208
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Live Stream – ESPN.com/Watch or the ESPN App
 
LISTEN: Dennis Patchin is in his third season as the radio voice of the Vandals. Patchin will call play-by-play alongside Vandal legend Ryan Phillips, who will provide color commentary. The game can be heard on the Vandal Radio Network and online at GoVandals.com. Find stations on the network HERE.
 
ABOUT TROY: The Trojans became the Sun Belt's first bowl-eligible team with a win Saturday to move to 6-2. Troy is led by a defensive unit that allows just 317.4 yards of total offense per game, the top mark in the Sun Belt and No. 21 nationally.
 
TO THE FINAL WHISTLE: All four of Idaho's Sun Belt games this season have been one-possession games decided in the final minutes. The Vandals won their conference opener at South Alabama (Sept. 23) in double overtime. Against Louisiana (Oct. 7), go-ahead touchdown pass was dropped with less than two minutes left in a 21-16 loss. A fumble in the red zone with 1:08 remaining cost the Vandals a chance to tie or take the lead in a 23-20 loss to Appalachian State (Oct. 14). Idaho's defense made a goal-line stand to preserve a 31-23 win over ULM (Oct. 28).
 
AIRING ON ESPNU: Thursday's game will mark Idaho's first regular-season appearance on the linear ESPN Family of Networks since Aug. 30, 2014, at Florida. The game against the Gators was also on ESPNU and was canceled due to unsafe field conditions. After a three-hour weather delay, teh Vandals kicked off to the Gators, only to have another lightning delay halt the action before a play could be run from scrimmage. An hour later, officials declared the game terminated. Idaho's win last season in the Famous Idaho Potato Bowl was televised on ESPN.
 
THURSDAY SPECIAL: Idaho is 3-1 under head coach Paul Petrino when playing on Thursday night, including a 28-6 win against Sacramento State in the season opener this year. The Vandals were 2-0 when playing on Thursday last season, winning the season opener and the Famous Idaho Potato Bowl. Idaho's lone Thursday loss, came in the 2015 against Ohio.
 
ONE OF A KIND: Junior linebacker Kaden Elliss is establishing himself as one of the best two-way players in the country. Elliss, primarily a linebacker, has also lined up at full back and tight end on a handful of snaps in each of the last seven games. Against Missouri (Oct. 21), Elliss became the first player in the country to record a sack and a touchdown reception in the same game. He repeated the feat against ULM (Oct. 28).
 
ALL-EVERYTHING: Kaden Elliss led the Vandals to a much-needed win against ULM (IOct. 28), making major contributions on both sides of the ball. Elliss was the team's leading tackler with 10 stops, including three for loss and a sack. He also caught a 45-yard touchdown pass on offense, the longest touchdown reception by a Vandal this year.
 
COFFEY COMING THROUGH: Freshman kicker Cade Coffey has earned Sun Belt Special Teams Player of the Week honors twice and is establishing himself as one of the top kickers and punters in the conference. Coffey is 10-for-12 on field goal attempts this season. He is among the Sun Belt leaders in punt average (1st; 46.5 yards), field goal percentage (1st; .833) and field goals per game (3rd; 1.25). His punt average ranks No. 6 nationally.
 
BACK IN BUSINESS: Matt Linehan and the Vandal offense broke out in a big way against ULM (Oct. 28). Linehan hit season highs of 28 completions and 360 yards. He completed passes to eight different receivers, including a different target on each of his three touchdowns. He was named Sun Belt Offensive Player of the Week for his efforts.
 
HOT HAND: Alfonso Onunwor has led the Vandals in receptions and receiving yards each of the last three games. Onunwor has paced Idaho in receiving yards in five of the seven games he has played this season, including a career-high 119 yards at South Alabama (Sept. 23). He has pulled in a team-leading four touchdowns this season, grabbing one in three of Idaho's four Sun Belt games.

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